It’s not too late to vote — or register
November 7, 2016
EAGLE COUNTY — It's too late to mail your ballot, but there's still time to vote.
Today is Election Day, of course. But, instead of standing around at multiple polling sites, most county voters this year have either mailed their ballots already or will drop them off at one of several sites in the valley.
The week of Oct. 17, the Eagle County Clerk & Recorder's Office mailed out roughly 29,000 ballots to registered voters in the county. As of Nov. 4, that office had received more than 13,500 ballots. If the voter turnout this year is roughly equivalent to the 68.5 percent turnout in 2012 — the last presidential election year — 5,000 or more ballots will pour into the office between Friday and 7 p.m. today.
While the actual vote tabulation doesn't start until today, those ballots have been verified and are now ready to count.
For last-minute voters, here's a quick look at what you need to do:
• It isn't too late to register, if you're old enough and meet residency requirements.
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• Disabled-access and in-person voting is available at Eagle County Clerk and Recorder offices in Eagle, Avon and El Jebel.
• Replacement ballots are also available at those offices.
• Because of the election, clerk's offices in the county will be closed for every function except for voting. Ballot drop boxes will be available until 7 p.m. at the three county offices, as well as outside the Grand View Room atop the Lionshead parking structure in Vail, as well as at the Basalt town offices.
Remember, ballots must be in one of those boxes or cast at a clerk's office by 7 p.m.
Voters in most of the county will vote for county, state and federal issues and candidates today. Voters in Avon will find candidates for that community's town council on the county ballot.
Eagle-Vail voters have two ballots this year — one for the general election and one for a proposed sales tax increase for the commercial area in the community.
If passed, the Eagle Vail Metropolitan District Board of Directors could impose a sales tax rate of up to 2.9 percent. At the maximum level, Eagle-Vail's sales tax would be 7.3 percent, still among the lowest rates in the valley.
If approved, the money raised — $1 million in the first year — could be used to finance improvements to the neighborhood's streets, sidewalks and parking lots. It could be used for a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 70 to link the community's residential and commercial areas.
It could also be used to finance a potential chairlift to Beaver Creek.
As with the county ballot, it's too late to mail a ballot on the tax proposal. But residents can drop off ballots at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Votes will be counted in Eagle-Vail by three independent election judges. Community Manager Jeff Layman said a good turnout is expected, so it may take a while to announce results.
Still on the trail
While it looks as though most ballots were returned before Election Day, candidates are still working to get out their votes.
Diane Mitsch Bush, of Steamboat Springs, a Democrat, is running for her third term in the Colorado House of Representatives representing District 26.
Mitsch Bush said she suffered a foot injury recently, so hasn't been able to walk neighborhoods in the district as she has in her past two campaigns.
That means Mitsch Bush has been working the phones, using a state-supplied list of registered voters who haven't voted yet.
"It's not what they call a 'persuasion call,' — I'm just telling people to go vote," Mitsch Bush said.
Michael Dunahay is the Republican candidate for Eagle County Commissioner in District 1. Dunahay said he has a full day planned for Election Day, starting with showing up to vote at 7 a.m. at the clerk's office in Avon.
After that, Dunahay said he plans to talk to voters at the Northside Coffee & Kitchen in Avon, then head to the Golden Eagle Senior Center for lunch.
Dunahay said he also plans to spend at least some time waving one of his campaign signs at passing traffic.
"Never having run for office before, it's been really gratifying to have people give a thumbs-up as they drive by," he said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.